Mother knows

I’m still not ready to talk about it more in details of what happen, but I wanted to share my story because I think it is important for mother’s out there to listen to yourself and seeks for comfort and support.                             

When our daughter Kalia was born, we were thrilled to have a beautiful baby girl. All of her test at birth showed normal results, as did the second one at the age of 7 months.

Kalia had always been a very happy and communicative baby. Then, as months passed, she improved all of her skills and developing as normal and baby possibly can. Even at her 1 year checkup, her pediatricians made comments on how she actually ahead. She masters some skills that normally mastered by a 18 month old baby if not older.

But later, at about the age of 18 months, she seemed to have fallen behind her peers as far as one of her skills were concerned. People around me always assure me that she’s fine and she will master that skills later on and baby develop at different rate and how I’m being paranoid. I heard this many – many times. Even from my husband.

Despite all that, I decided to have a special test done. My pediatrician, bless her heart, support me 100%. She told me to wait until Kalia is 2 but she did say, I shouldn’t ignore my instinct. Even though my husband kinda thinks it’s a waste of time at first, he supports me as well.

We did the test last Friday – I guess because it wasn’t really a medical reason and the test was done just based on instinct; it took us almost 1 month to get an appointment with the specialist, but we finally get in. As I hold her during the test, my heart slowly sink, I just knew that she blew it.

Even though I suspect it, both my husband and I were shocked by the results, it is different to suspect something then to actually hear and confirm it. : Fortunately, the doctor was very nice and professional. She immediately informed us of what the next steps should be. She immediately forwards the results to Kalia pediatrician, to different specialist and county for moral helps and supports. She gave us the entire outlet we need on how to move forward.

It doesn’t makes it any easier, I remember sitting there and listening to the test results and look at my husband next to me who have this stern look on his face and then I glance at Kalia and Tyra who were just happily playing with all the toys at the doctor’s office, my eyes just start getting blurry and I just cry right there and then.

I started asking the why questions… what did I do wrong, what did I miss, what I could’ve done different? What is it… WHY????? Don’t play a blaming game, that’s what the doctor told me. Nothing I’ve done or my husband that causes this, she assures us. It happens….  Things happens…

Doctors told me and my husband that we should not under estimate a support group for us. While we will continue to work on Kalia and her future but it is also important for us to get some counseling and support. I thought friends will do.

While we were waiting to get the test done, I took pictures of my kids playing in the waiting room and I post it on facebook. Some of friends start calling and ask if everything is okay. Friday afternoon was a very overwhelming time for us so I don’t return phone calls until Saturday. Even then I was still mixed with anger and guilt.

After hearing of what happens, I would say most friends are very supportive and sympathetic. However there are few that shocked me more. By the way, I’m talking just a handful of people that knows about it. Some friend thought I was being a drama queen and I shouldn’t fret about it too much. Okay …. But then, some friends who was my longtime friends and I consider a very good friends actually start blaming me, her first reaction was “What the H#@#$ did you do to her? Did you clean her *** too hard that causing this?” She’s actually the only person I reach out too – beside my family. And her respond was not something I expected.

After that I just shut down. I ignore phone calls and refuse to talk. Until Tuesday, blogging friends that become facebook friends invite her friends to rant on her page. I figure none of her readers knows me anyway, I will rants….  The response was so overwhelmingly positive though…. I cry and I cry reading it over and over again….  Some even helps me relate to their situations and some just there “holding my hands”. These comes from strangers.. Literally! And yet, so far they have provided me with comfort beyond believe. I deeply touch and humble by that.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends here who also hold my hands an cry with me… and I’m will be forever grateful for them. But the situation between my “good” friend and “strangers”  had open my eyes that we do need another outlets than just people around us. The neutral people that will not judge us, that will listen and offers suggestions, supports from neutral perspective.

My pediatrician calls to check on ME. Not Kalia, but ME and my husbands. She’s confidence that Kalia will be in a great hands with doctors and specialist but she also want to make sure we get the helps we need in order to assist kalia. She let me cry with her and she listen. She is too in a way a stranger..  but she’s there for us.

I take comfort that Kalia will get what she needs and my husband and I will get what we need in order to helps Kalia. What happens to us is a gift, it brings everything into perspective that my children truly is a blessing to us and we will be forever grateful for them.

God trusted them in my hands and I will do whatever it takes to make sure I don’t betrayed that trust.  So far.. (so far..) if there’s any good comes from this is a realization that you should count every blessing and not burden yourself with something small. One friend calls me yesterday and thank me. She thank me for share with her my situation. She told me she can’t sleeps at night thinking what would she done if she were in my shoes. She told me I put things in more perspective for her and she thank me for it.

One thing that my pediatrician says that hits me is: “Thank God for your Mother’s instinct, we caught this early.”

So to all mother’s out there… LISTEN.. those voices that tells you when something is off… LISTEN. Who care about other’s opinion, it is you that can feel it in your heart. And use every outlet provided to you for helps.

Thank you,



My holiday story

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend with your family and friends. We had a great weekend filled with fun, family, friends and festivities.

My Saturday is a bit hectic, I still can’t find one gift for my friend’s daughter, she wanted a blue Angry bird and I went to three different store and they were all out! Gosh, I actually turn to be a pretty angry myself! 🙂 Then I also spend all day preparing for the feast on Sunday, I hosted a Christmas dinner this year (as was I last year as well – but this time it’s at friend’s house) so I spend most of my Saturday evening preparing for it – more story latter on. And a not so good thing, one of my dearest friend’s sister – who also a friend of ours – need to have a emergency tumor removal surgery so we also spend quite a bit of time visiting her at the hospital. But all is good. Nothing says Christmas/Holiday like a busy hectic day! 🙂

Sunday morning Tyra and Kalia literally running down the stairs wanting to open their presents. I love hearing the ooh… and ahh…. Each time Tyra open her presents, not to mention “thank you mommy, thank you daddy, thank you Santa, thank you elf and thank you God.” Hahaha… 🙂  They got a great combinations of toys, clothes and educational items for gift, so I’m pretty happy. Of course, the night before I made sure they choose their old toys to give away to goodwill. My friends notice that Tyra took little after me that she loves to cook and bake so she got her first easy bakes oven and a Hello Kitty cupcake maker! She’s way too excited to see them. Now Kalia, she doesn’t understand gift as much as Tyra, but she got excited over this one gift that my husband choose, it’s her first mini cycles. It’s pink and so cute. Apparently it need to be assembly so husband have to assembly it and she just sat there waiting patiently (most of the time) for daddy to finish putting her little bike together. Then she have a blast going all over the house with it and literally couldn’t care less on the rest of her gift.

The girls have been very blessed with their Aunties and Uncles (either from friends or relatives) with great gift their received. And I can’t thank them enough for loving my children.

As for the holiday feast, we have a progressive holiday feast on Sunday, we all agreed to have an all day eating fiesta, so instead of gathering on one place for dinner and everybody bring a dishes, we split into two places and have two family host each gathering. So we started our Sunday at 11 am with brunch at one friend’s house hosted by the homeowner and one other friends. It was so delish!! We have tons of pastry stuff (one of my friend is Hmong French so she cooks lots of French food) we have Mussels, Salmon, sandwiches and chicken, fruit tarts, etc..  I was so full and they even joked to moved dinner to 8 pm because they were all so full.

Dinner is my turn, I actually host it with one other friend and we do it at her house, however my friend is on an early stage of pregnancy and she really have a rough one. So she can’t cooked anything literally! So I cooked all the heavy stuff and all she need to do is preparing the eatery stuff, the utensil, drinks and salads. I made Roast Turkey, Roast Beef, bakes pasta and sautéed shrimp and mixed veggies, I also bakes a Christmas cake for dessert. I literally do all by myself cooked to feed about 20 – 30 people. I was so worried that we don’t have enough or it didn’t come up right etc… at the end it all went very well and they told me that I actually graduated to be a Nyab Hmong – I think it meant a good Hmong daughter in law. My husband and I was laughing so hard when they all say that. Laughing aside, I take it as a great compliment!

We really had a marvelous time together on Sunday. I love being among them, there’s nothing pretentious on our relationship,  it is mostly laughter that we shared I’m not going to lie, of course we also have our share of argument and tears but at the end we all become such a great friends that we put all aside. I think we truly become a family.

I hope you guys have just a lovely time as I was over the past weekend. Here’s to a great and successful 2012!!

Ps, sorry I haven’t got any time to load pictures yet, but I will and will share them soon.

Will anybody miss me…

I truly does miss this blogging world, I miss reading the very informative KB’s El Morno and miss seeing another cute tea pot collection from Beth Ann, Diane’s story, what’s new with Tien and MB perspective on Hmong’s and woman’s issues and many – many more of my blogging buddies!! . Now that the turmoil in my life kinda over, I hope to be able to blog more regularly and read also comment on my blogging friend’s post more regularly.

I come across this sad news that I would like to share with you guys, it is a story of how a 3 yr old was left alone after her mom’s sudden death in New Zealand. I cry reading the story can’t help imagining how scared that little girl must’ve be!! You can read the full story here.

Luckily the uncle because suspicious after didn’t hear from the mom and contacted the neighbor and police. That’s when they find out how she has passed away and Shylah (the baby’s name) just simply told the police “Mummy won’t wake up,” tell me that doesn’t break your heart??

My husband and I, we have no relative or family here in CO, although I have shared with you many – many times, that I have great friends here but we don’t really hang out every night or everyday. I can’t help but thinking to myself, my gosh what if something like that happen to me and my husband? Will anybody miss me? My husband’s family haven’t contacted us in months! So they wouldn’t know if we drop dead or if something has going on – nor do I think they care.

It just scares me of the possibility that my child can be left alone scares. Am I just being paranoid? Probably. Can’t help it I’m a mom! J Oh… nobody told me the stress and responsibility of being a parents are so huge!!! But the perks does makes up for it and it’s totally worth it.

I better end this before I ramble more nonsense.

Balance is overrated!

As summer ends, my husband and I have to make tons of adjustments. Scheduling for example, Tyra has started school back in July but we still have our niece with us to help baby sit Kalia, now she’s back to WI and Kalia need to be back at day care. Tyra will also have to go to before and after care and that brings up another adjustment, budget! Having two kids is crazy expensive!!! We have to pay $1600 just for child care alone! I don’t know how others with more than 2 kids can do it, we barely able to afford ours!

Now we all have to wake up super early I’m sure my husband beat the rooster (if we would’ve own one) waking up sleeping kids and baby are another thing I have to do, waking up Tyra is easier than Kalia, I mean, how could you wake a peacefully sleeping baby? So cute and comfy snuggle in her blanky and here’s come monster mommy waking her up? Oh.. breaks my heart every time! Good news is kalia normally wake up as soon as I’m up as if she can sense it. So I hardly have to wake her up.

 I do enjoy making and having breakfast with the family though.. even if it’s just as simple as cereal and milk. Once a while pancake or waffle is on the table, depend on my mood and how early we can get everybody ready.

The first few weeks, I got to work exhausted. Mostly mentally, thinking about what to prepare for snacks tomorrow, what the kids will wear, what’s for breakfast, what’s to cook for dinner tonight. Etc…. I drive myself crazy.

Then coming home to a messy house, the house I clean every morning and every night, it will miraculously messy again by the time I get home around 6pm. My husband is pretty helpful, he do dishes, laundry, vacuum and mop. However he and I have different concept on where toys and dirty clothes should go. It’s not on the floor!

Few weeks ago I broke down and have one of the biggest fights in our marriage life. It’s so big that it almost involve elder (it’s a Hmong thing) not that my husband believe in the elder but almost. Good friends talk to me and calm me down and we manage to get through this. I think everything just happen all of the sudden the change the adjustments we have to make and it’s all built in to the point that I can’t take it.

Finally I talked with my Mom and just cry myself out. Then, this is what my mom told me “having balance at home is over rated! There are no such things as perfect balance in life and in marriage. It’s all about give and take. The house will always be messy – you have two kids and two dogs what do you expect? – and you will always have disagreement but that’s what life is. Talk it out and work it out, that’s how you get through it.”

She said it’s okay to have a messy home once in a while, that’s mean my kids actually have fun and bring the house to live.

I always compare my life to my mom’s and have the image of a perfect marriage and perfect household should be. My mom told me to stop and remind me how even her life is not perfect. Once my mom and my dad were separated, they get back together and work it out. It hits me even my “perfect parents” have problems too.

She also remind me that she have plenty of helps back home with maid, gardener and drivers at her services.. (my dream life!) and most importantly all the family back home. She also then told me how proud she is of me and not sure if she can do the same if she was in my position. She thinks of me as a strong woman who is able to manage a family life with just me and hubby and we have as close to perfect as a life should be. That is the biggest compliments I heard from my mom! Over and over again I learned from my Mom. What will I do without her?

So last night, I let it all lose, I watch as Tyra and Kalia play together, this time instead of worrying what they will break or what they will spills, I just watch and listen. I listen as they both laugh while they were chasing each other. I watch Kalia do silly dance mimicking some TV commercial and then her laugh…

It’s beautiful and the house wasn’t all that bad. Just pick up few things this morning but I have the best night ever! As I quote my mom ‘Balance is over rated! Have fun, laugh often, build memories is more important than have your house looks like Martha Stewart Magazine.” Love you mommy!!

Tyra & Kalia being silly

Busy but happy September

Vail September 2011

There’s an old Indonesian songs called ‘September Ceria” or Cheery (or happy) September is the lose translation for it. September is the starter of my most favorite time in the year, the time when leaves begin to fall, the air cools to pleasantly crisp. Lovely time. Did I mention I got engage in September? That’s added to the list as why this is my favorite time of the year.

Labor day weekend marked up the end of summer for us and ready for any fun in the falls activity. As it’s been a tradition, we went to Vail for their Rotary Duck race festival. We stumble upon the event by accident when looking for things to do in the high country during the long weekend. This was 5 yrs ago and we’ve been going ever since – with the exceptions of last year when we have to go to WI.

The race was fun, it’s Tyra’s 5th time and Kalia’s 1st time. Each year I feel like the event draw more and more crowd. Kalia was so surprise to see thousand of rubber duck swimming down the streams he squeals in delight the whole time and Tyra just have too much fun swimming with the duck.

Labor day weekend is also normally one of our busiest weekend. We actually have to turn down 2 invitations because it was overlapping with one another and they were located in different part of the city. It’s crazy busy but also fun so I won’t have it any other way. We do spare Monday as quite family time before we go back to regular routine on Tuesday.

On top of that I’ve been quite busy lately with few projects around the house and for friends. Tyra’s birthday coming up in just few weeks and I’ve been paying with lots of ideas in my head on how to surprise her and how to decorate/create a beautiful dessert table. Also a good friend of mine will celebrate her son’s 6th birthday party in just a week and half and ask me to plan it as well. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

So Between my times I’ve been trying to create a party theme, dessert table decorations and planning the menu. The theme for my friend’s will be Phineas and Ferb, I’m keeping Tyra’s as a secret for now cause all is not finalize in my head just yet. For inspiration, as always I’ve been browsing through Kim’s website Tomkat Studio, I’ve long admired Kim’s fabulous dessert tables and always wanted to try it.

Being creative is exhausting! Hahaha… there are so many ideas that need to be put together and there are many times I found myself checking things off an imaginary list that was apparently floating above my head! But it was fun. Yesterday I finally finish designing the menu label and food label for my friend and she approved it right away and loves it! I’m having a blast!!

I will definably post pictures and after this one finish, I will finalize the ideas for Tyra’s party. It will be fabulous, elegant, sophisticated and fun!!! Wait for it!!

2011 Vail Duck Race festival

Just another day….

I was getting ready, if you thought it’ll be safe to be half naked in front of your 16 month old, think again! I try to put on makeup while I let the baby brush her teeth in the sink, then I notice that she was staring at me my nipple and tilt her head as if she examine it, finally she try to touch it! NOPE!

After I get dressed, trying to fit into my Capri jeans and walk in my 5 yrs old. “Mommy, your tummy is coming out, I think the pants is too small.” It’s not too small it’s just a bit snug – yeah I wish. Then she continue, “How come you have a big tummy? The baby is already out?” You know, she ask me this before and I swear I should’ve limit her to one questions per topic per life is allowed! And of course I can’t remember what my answer was that day… so trying to be a good parents I explain to her that mommy is lack of exercise and don’t always eat healthy. That’s why she need to exercise and eat healthy. She said “Ok.” Then off she goes.

 Finish dressing up and get the baby ready, went back to the bathroom look for a perfume, almost run out of everything, Anniversary is approaching maybe I can ask my husband to get me a new bottle so I went downstairs and told my husband while holding the perfume bottle, “Honey I need more Pleasure, you need to give me Pleasure.” His respond “Oh yeah baby come to daddy…”

The story of Sebastian the crab

Tien posted the recipe for chilli crabs and I’ve been dyin to try it! So I’ve been on a quest (in my limited time) going to one grocery store to the next trying to find Dungeness crab or blue crab. Regular grocery store in CO doesn’t really carry them on normal basis – yeah shocking! The asian market is almost a sure bet to have them but it’s 45 minutes away.

Finally, just a day before my family from WI came over I went to the Asian store and saw those little crabs in a huge bucket and they’re on sale! One drawback – at least for me – it’s all alive! I don’t have the guts to kill them! I ask the store clerk if they can maybe put them to “sleep” for me cause I’m too scared. After the guy finish laughing he told me they don’t have any steamer or boiling water to do so and that by the time I get home they should all be dead. Hmm.. reassuring.

But my willingness to cook it and serve it to my hubby and the family overcome my fear and I bought 4 huge one. Well, at least I thought it will overcome my fear, it didn’t. Those suckers are still alive by the time I get home! So I sat down and research the internet on how to put them to “sleep” in the most humane way. Finally a friend told me that if I put them in the freezer for just 30 seconds it should kinda numb them so that when we “prepare” them they won’t feel a thing. Okay.. that sound humane – right?

So, finally I get myself mentally ready to do this. I made all the preparation and then I put them all on the kitchen table. At the same time my Tyra came down the stairs and squeals in delight.. “Mommy you got me a pet!!!! Thank you Mommy Thank you!!! Ok, this is Sebastian the crab, this is Ouya, this is ……” Her voice just slowly disappear from my head…  Now, how do I tell them that they are not pets and that they’re actually dinner for tomorrow?

The 80’s call – they want their Smurf back!!

Love the Smurf! I grew up reading the comics and watch the cartoons. I was super excited when I heard they were making the movie. I immediately share my excitement with the family and…. …cricket… cricket…. “who mama?” “Smurf? What is that?” “Not Phineas & Ferb?”

OMG, I guess Smurf is not as popular today as it was? On one event in Downtown Denver, they were promoting the movie and I shows Tyra the character such as Papa Smurf and Smurfin…. She look at me funny and finally told me “If you want to see the movie so bad, I’ll go with you.”

Questions for parents

Being a parent it’s not easy. The epic responsibility of having kids is very scary. Growing up, I actually was very afraid to commit myself to have children. I have two now and couldn’t even imagine how dull my life would be without them. Yes, between the two of them I gain about 40 lbs and yes after breast feeding my breasts deflated to nothing… but that’s a very small sacrifice compare to the rewards and that’s not really what I wanted to share.

I always have a strong opinion on how important school is and early childhood education. To me early childhood education is not about learning to read and math. It is more of social skills.  I learned about SPICE when I first researching a good school & day care for Tyra, SPICE is:

  • Social – Refers mostly to the ability to form attachments, play with others, co-operation and sharing, and being able to create lasting relationships with others.
  • Physical – Development of Fine (small) and Gross (large) Motor Skills.
  • Intellectual – The process of making sense of the world around them.
  • Creative – The development of special abilities creating talents. Music, Art, Writing, Reading, and Singing are all ways for creative development to take place.
  • Emotional – Development of self-awareness, self-confidence, and coping with feelings as well as understanding them.

And did you know that did you know that by age three, a child’s brain has reached more than 85% of its adult weight? Hence, the importance of quality, early-childhood education. This is a scientific research done by Colorado Parent & Child Foundation. Also the brain will prune those things that it discerns are not being used starting at about 18 months. So, if you are neglecting a little one, the brain turns off those parts that are not getting stimulated. So, what is the best way to stimulate that tiny brain to keep growing? Play with the baby. Yep. That easy. Talk to him. Sing to her. Dance with him. Read to her. Play games with him. Take walks with her.

The reason why I thought of it today, a while back I went to Tyra’s class mate birthday party. There’s this one girl, she’s very cute but she doesn’t play nice with others.  I can tell she’s very happy and she should be it’s a party! But noticing her lack of social skills she soon acting like a brat. Sorry if I’m being blunt about this.  

It was so sad, but I also feel how the other parents felt. She runs and grabbing toys from other kids refuse to play – meaning share – with others. Meanwhile, instead of letting the child know that it’s not okay to take toys from others, the mom is just busy making excuses and apologizing.

Towards the end, she acting worse and the other parents finally speak up one mom even suggest a spanking. I don’t know these groups of people except the host so I stay quite. I feel bad for the mom though, she feels embarrassed and finally during cake the kids calm down a bit and the mom and I kinda sat next to each other. We exchange small talks and she apologize for her girl pulling Tyra’s hair (because she want Tyra bandana and Tyra refuse to give it to her) I just smile. She goes on making excuses that her baby is good kid at home but just tired from missing a nap – I don’t doubt her – but its 11 am in the morning!

 From that conversation I gather that she’s the baby – no surprise and she will be 4 yrs old and never been in school once. So the only social interaction is between her and her brother and sister at home.  Because she’s the baby she basically get everything she wants , well… she’s the baby, so her older brother and sister have to give in and the Mom – a stay at home Mom – purposely delay her school because again.. She’s the baby! Although the mom assure me that she taught the kid at home, how she can already write her name and count to 30. But what about social skills? The questions stay in my head.

I saw them again last weekend at the water fountain right by our house and she remembers me and we chatted while the kids play with water. Again, the daughter doing the same thing, grabbing things that not hers and refuse to give it back when the owner ask…. 

I don’t blame the child, I blame the mom. The child lack of social aspect in her life and she doesn’t know any better. The mom should see that her child is lack of social skills and do something about it instead of making excuses. I’m not passing judgment; I’m a parent of two young girls, so I still have a very long way to go. But in my opinion the mom could’ve done something. I’m not asking her to put the child on time out or embarrassed her, but talk to her and letting her know that it is not nice.

According to research I mention earlier by the age of 2 the brain turns off those parts of it that are not getting stimulated. So if we don’t start telling our child what’s right and what’s wrong, the child won’t know any different.

True story, my sister in law, never put her son into day care or preschool. Again, he’s the baby! By the time he has to be in kindergarten, his behavior is so bad that public school refuse him. Teachers carefully told my sister & brother in law that their son needs special attention that public school can’t give. Happy ending that he’s in private school now and doing great.

Am I wrong for taking this whole social skill seriously? Being a parents is hard, so I’m not going to lie and thinking I can do it all by myself. I need help. Teachers and school are parts of the help I need. Let me know your thought on this.

Why Sendie-Lou should go on diet

After swimming, I did the laundy of all the wet swimming clothes and towel and I notice these cutes little swimming trunks

Here’s Kalia

Kalia Swimming trunks

Here’s Tyra:

Tyra swimming trunk

And my niece

Joey's trunk

Then, a horrible sight!!!!

Sendie-Lou swimming trunk

Look at this!!!

All together

And I wonder why my swimming trunk (literaly a trunk!!) cost $109.00 and the girls only around $20!!! OY!!